Please see below an article from our June newsletter:
Drought Tolerant Perennials
Some plants simply faint in the heat of a South Carolina summer. Foliage wilts and discolors, flowers are short lived or non-existent and stress often invites a multitude of pathogens to invade. Choosing drought tolerant plants for the landscape or container may just keep you and your clients from wilting or excessive watering.
Delosperma ‘Jewel of the Desert’ series (PP#23471) is an exciting new full sun perennial to consider for the low-water garden. Jewel of the Desert series includes six hot color cultivars that include Ruby, Garnet, Topaz, Rosequarts, Peridott and Moonstone. The blooms are small 1-2” long-lasting flowers on top of succulent olive green foliage. Relatively prostrate at 4-6” tall and 8-10” wide, these heat loving survivors may be used as groundcovers, in containers, or massed in the bed or border. They require well-drained soil and in addition to tolerating drought; they also are reported to thrive in heat and humidity, and are disease resistant. Jewel of Desert is the result of new breeding from Koichiro Nishikawa of Japan.
Echinacea hybrida ‘Hot Papaya’ (PP#21022) boasts bright 3” dark orange mop-top blooms with deeply reflexed petals and strong thick stems. Plants reach 2.5-3’ high and 2.5’ wide. The blooms open in midsummer and last into autumn. These plants are well-suited as focal points in the full sun bed or border and will certainly draw the interest of people as well as butterflies. They are reputed to tolerate not only drought; but also heat, humidity, and may be resistant to diseases. This hybrid was bred in the Netherlands by Arie Blom.
Heuchera ‘Lime Ruffles’ (PP# US 20140373238 P1) is a new cultivar for part shade. Sporting lime green leaves with ruffled edges and an attractive mound-like habit; this plant is easy on the eye. The pretty white blooms only last about two weeks but the main attraction is the foliage-which looks festive throughout the growing season. Both leaves and blooms are a bit larger than normal on this cultivar. Mature overall size is 12” high and 18” wide and the lime coloring brightens the shady landscape. This plant adds vibrant color and texture to the shady container, as a groundcover, or in the perennial bed or border. Lime Ruffles was bred by Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc. in Oregon.
All freshly installed plants require water applied to the planting bed or container until they are established. Establishment occurs when the roots are growing at the same rate as they were prior to transplant. So plan to check the soil moisture levels frequently until plants are successfully growing and add water when the soil appears dry. This will ensure that the drought tolerant plants are ready for the extended heat and reduced water later on. Drought tolerant plants also frequently require well-drained soils-so selecting the right place for your plants will help plants thrive.